An Introduction to San Diego’s Latest Celebrity Poet — Meet Sunny Rey

by on October 11, 2013 · 5 comments

in Culture, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Author – “Quotes and Poems of a Nobody”

1146584_592660514119192_835659453_nBy Judi Curry

Not too long ago, I had a chance meeting with Sunny. And it didn’t start out all that well.

Sunny is the sister of Ian Rey, the young man that worked at Henry’s for over 14 years and was let go because of a missing jacket. I had been talking to another store about the possibility of Ian working there, and Sunny misunderstood my intentions. She thought I wanted to do a story – like the other media – when, in fact, I wanted to introduce Ian to the owners of Baron’s Market, where he now works.

After talking to Sunny and straightening out the reason I wanted to talk to Ian, I found her to be an absolutely delightful person; a poetess in her own right; on the upward path of becoming an entity of her own, writing, reading her poetry, etc. to a wide audience in San Diego. To say that she has a following in San Diego and beyond is mild compared to who she is and what she is becoming.

To begin with, Sunny is a San Diegan. She went to “Our Lady of the Sacred Heart” and then on to Marian Catholic High School. Her father is a teacher and school psychologist at Saint Augustine High School, and her mother is a teacher. She was adopted by these wonderful people when she was very young.

She began writing around the age of 12, and is not really sure why she started writing poetry. Her dad was introverted but played the guitar, and she would bring him poems that she had written to put to music. He played the guitar much better than she sang, but did motivate her to keep writing new material.

A great deal of the poetry she writes touches on the heartbreak she has with the non-existent relationship with her birth mother. She knows little about her ancestry. One day, out of the blue, a relative gifted her with a handful of her birth mother’s poetry. She was amazed to see that their styles were very similar, and there was an obvious deep sense of longing and themes of loneliness and intense wonderment of life.

While finishing up the writing of her book, she fueled her hope by entering her poems in a poetry contest. One of the poems was selected to be featured the San Diego Poetry Annual published by Garden Oak Press. The SD Poetry annual does a follow up “book tour” to launch their book with every new edition. She took the tour as a running start to immerse herself in any sort of “poetry scene” in San Diego.

She read at most of the spring/summer tours and met fellow poets and publishers. When she finished her manuscript, she submitted it to Garden Oak Press and Bill Harding, the owner, was impressed with what he read. It was her very first effort and it was liked immediately.

In general, what she wants her readers to take away from the collection is a sense of belonging. She wants them to find a tangible friend in her words and that when they read the bitter and stinging themes she writes their own sense of loneliness is lifted. She hopes it gives freedom to fellow writers to write in an untamed style back into the current and modern world.

She especially thinks that locals to San Diego will ease smoothly into this book, because she was born and raised as an “inner city” kid in San Diego. Growing up in the city but being bused into the Catholic private schools bred a strong sense of retaliation and teenage angst. Her sister, (whom Sunny has written several poems to) is a beach soul of a gal, and brought Sunny into the life of OB and surrounding beach cultures and energy.

Ninety percent of her book was written on a dock at Seaport Village, wedged between the Star of India and Anthony’s Fish Grotto, back when the city had all the “urban trees” lining the sunset. She sat in front of the sculpture of an iron bird house with a tree growing on the inside of it. (She would give anything to find out who made that tree and birdhouse.) The other part of her book was written in a turn-out on Sunset Cliffs. She would stay in the car, listen to music and write for hours. She let the inspiration pause, and drive back to the cliffs whenever it returned again.

1381576_237368649753091_1373879772_nThe reception from followers of her book are varied: The title, “Quotes and Poems of a Nobody” makes some readers think that she wrote the book to be pitied, or that she thinks of herself as a loser. While she does write on intense and dark subjects, the choice of her words actually comes from a much lighter space in her. She is simply mocking the nerve she has.

She says that “ . . . I think it ks kind of funny that I was able to pull this off at all. I am an unknown poet, who kept the fact that I wrote at all an intimate secret until literally two years ago, when I decided I would flow through and publish my rants. I recognize that I do not necessarily deserve to be recognized, and certainly am, for the lack of a more colorful image a ‘nobody’ to be quoted.

The best place to purchase her book is through It is also in local bookstores and soon will be at Barnes and Noble online. She will be touring her book this winter so if you add her to your Facebook, she will keep in touch with you and you can see/hear her in person. ( .980

She’s a San Diegan! Check out her book. You will be glad you did.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

joyce October 11, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Wish there had been some examples of her poems….maybe i can find her book at warwicks.


joyce October 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm

ah…found her online…great poetry..what a treat


judi curry October 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Sunny has just given me permission to print one of her poems from her book. I will do that shortly.


Matthew Wood October 11, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Great story Judi!


judi curry October 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Thank you Matt. You will look wonderful in your new shirt while celebrating your birthday. Glad you are onboard.


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